For many families who are trying to juggle modern life, hosting an Au Pair to help with childcare and light housework is the ideal solution. Au Pairs and Demi Pairs provide live in full or part time childcare and housework duties so parents can work or meet other commitments with the minimum of stress or disruption to family life.
Australia is a popular destination for Au Pairs who often decide to work as an Au Pair to improve their English skills and experience a different culture. It is not usually too difficult to find Au Pairs for Sydney families as long as the family meet certain criteria. If you are considering taking on an Au Pair to help with your family, here are the requirements:
- You must have at least one child younger than 18 living with you. Au Pairs look after children of all different age ranges between age 2 and 18. If you want to engage an Au Pair you need to have at least one child who is under the age of 18. Au Pairs can’t have sole care of children under the age of 2 or sole overnight care.
- They need to have their own room. To host an Au Pair, you need to have an individual room for them to stay. Au Pairs can’t share a room with your children, each other or with other members of the household.
As an Au Pair lives with you as part of your family, you should be comfortable with the idea of someone else living in your home and be prepared to include them in cultural and family events.
Au Pairs often have the use of the family car and there are a few considerations you will need to think about. If your Au Pair will be using your car to take children to and from school or activities make sure they have the appropriate insurance and a driving licence.
Visitors to Australia can drive on their own overseas licence in NSW for a period of three months after taking up residence in the state (as long as the overseas licence is current). After that period, they may be required to hold a NSW licence. As well as insurance considerations, make sure it is clear who is responsible for costs in the event of an accident.
Depending what country your Au Pair comes from, they may not be used to driving on the left hand side and it’s important to keep this in mind when considering whether or not to provide your Au Pair with the use of a car.
Hours and duties
Your Au Pair may live in around the clock but they cannot be expected to work an unlimited number of hours. Au Pairs generally work around 25-35 hours a week, mostly on childcare duties although they can do some light housework duties if required. It’s important to be clear on the duties and hours of work you want your Au Pair to undertake.
Your Au Pair should get at least one full day off a week, preferably on a weekend and if they are studying this should also be taken into consideration when deciding their hours and days of work. If you want a more affordable, part time solution to your childcare issues, you can hire a Demi Pair who is usually someone from overseas, studying in Australia. Their availability may be more limited but they cost less than a full time Au Pair.
Hosting an Au Pair can be a thoroughly rewarding experience both for the Au Pair and your family. You can benefit from flexible and affordable childcare, and your children can learn about another country and culture while the Au Pair gets the opportunity to experience Australian culture and improve their English skills.